by Simona Shemer
One of the toughest problems facing new immigrants who arrive to Israel is trying to find a job in an industry they enjoy or had experience in, in their country of origin. Maybe you’ve seen this happen – an immigrant from South Africa or Denmark or America or Brazil comes to Israel with a biology degree or a background in biological sciences and ends up working in a call center because, for one reason or another, he or she couldn’t find a job in their field.
Gvahim helps new immigrants with professional qualifications and strong work experience find a place in the Israeli market and guides those olim transition into a suitable career through programs that are career-focused, highlighting entrepreneurship, or assisting for the medical professions.
If you take a look at the list of 10 companies below, you will see that the highly-skilled olim are finding the jobs and the programs are succeeding. These companies all boast high numbers of Gvahim graduates in their employee roster. These companies have worked with Gvahim through Gvahim’s programs to find qualified candidates who will add skills, experience, and an international element to their firms. The placements become mutually beneficial for both employee and employer as the employee finds meaningful work and the employer adds a highly professional candidate with a diverse background to his company. This employee will likely be able to communicate with the company’s target audience, which are usually located outside of Israel.
Gvahim reports that if an immigrant in Israel cannot find meaningful employment within 2-3 years, he or she is likely to leave the country. They want to ensure this doesn’t happen and with the help of 91% success rate in finding employment for their candidates, they are well on their way.
The companies below represent the best of the best – firms that have hired in 2017 the most international, highly qualified candidates, thanks to Gvahim:
1. FRE Skincare – https://www.freskincare.com/
FRÉ is a skincare line that specializes in getting rid of workout-induced skin damage and signs of aging that come from the combination of sweat, intense exercise, the sun and pollution. Its founders, Michael Azouley and Mickael Bensadoun, both olim, hold Gvahim in a special place in their hearts for very significant reasons. After Azoulay made aliyah in 2000, he worked as an entrepreneur and later met Bensadoun. The two created their successful skincare range based on a moment at Tel Baruch beach where a girl sweating while running helped them decide to make a skin care line that affects the way skin reacts to sweat.
Bensadoun had his own career outside of the skincare line, serving as a Director of Special Projects at the Rashi Foundation. He eventually became a co-founder and Executive Director of Gvahim when he founded the organization along with Yair Shamir and other leading Israeli businessmen and women as a Rashi project in 2006. Azoulay, for his part, mentors participants of The Nest by Gvahim, a 10-week business accelerator for new immigrants. “If Gvahim had existed when I came to Israel, maybe I would have had a different career with more opportunities,” he told Gvahim magazine for the Rosh Hashana issue.
2. Check Point – https://www.checkpoint.com/
Why is Check Point Software, the Israeli multinational provider of software, on Gvahim’s Top 10 list? As Moscow-born professional Nina Verzhbolovich, the head of New Business Development for Russia and CIS at Check Point puts it, “It’s a worldwide leader in the cybersecurity industry. Check Point needs internationals with their insights, experiences, languages and knowledge. Being part of a high-tech company, you don’t need to be fluent in Hebrew, your experience and personal skills are more valuable here.” While Verzhbolovich did not get the Check Point job directly through Gvahim, she did take part in a Career Program, which she says is the reason she got at least 10 interviews while she was looking for her next position. Her advice? Take everything you can out of the experience – literally! “I took everything that was on the table at Gvahim – collected business cards of all the lecturers, connected to people on LinkedIn, called to my amazing HR mentor after hours and met cool people from all over the world.”
3. BDM Ltd – http://bdm.co.il/
BDM is an international health care billing and recovery firm which acts as an extension to the provider’s business office, billing international travel insurance companies, and patients who have received care. While the company is located in Israel, it deals with the American insurance and healthcare in a multilingual and multicultural way, making it the perfect opportunity to hire qualified and professional Gvahim alumni.
4. CrediFi Content Co. – https://www.credifi.com/
Rena Lev, a Senior Product Analyst at commercial real estate finance big data platform CredFi says the best part of doing Gvahim was the connection she made. Lev, an olah from Baltimore who did the Career Program with her husband, said both of them had fields that were similar enough that each person’s mentor helped the other. She definitely thinks her career program was a stepping stone to creating a great resume and understanding the Israeli market. The Hashmonaim resident can also understand why CrediFi is on the list of top 10 companies who have hired Gvahim candidates. “It’s a product directly oriented to customers in the US so speaking English and having an international background helps,” she says. “There is an overall friendly feeling in the company. The company is family friendly and I think this goes hand in hand with being a company that is olim friendly. The company understands that olim don’t have the same support system as the regular sabre.”
Matrix is the leading IT company in Israel, according to research reports of the Israeli IT market published by the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) and STKI, the leading market research and strategic analyst firm in Israel. The company develops and implements leading technologies, software solutions, and products, while also providing various services. Matrix is an international company with several Gvahim alumni scattered among the team.
6. Signals Analytics – https://signals-analytics.com/
Signals Analytics is the story of two Israeli military intelligence officers who had experience utilizing open source and human intelligence enable cover operations in the Israel Defense Forces and then realized they could use those same concepts and technologies in the boardroom. Today, the company has 150 employees in New York, Geneva, Switzerland, and Tel Aviv. While a company founded by Israelis, Signals Analytics has become an international environment with employees from around the world. Two of the company’s Marketing Managers have been alumni of Gvahim. Also, one look at this company’s client list will make you understand why it is definitely suitable for someone coming from Gvahim – clients include international names like P&G, Nestle, Johnsons & Johnson and much more.
7. Wix – https://www.wix.com/
Besides being one of the most popular platforms in the world for website creation, Wix boasts a high-end quality group of international employees. The company, which has also done videos, blogs, podcasts, and more to promote their brand, has also worked closely with The Hive, Gvahim’s accelerator for immigrant entrepreneurs and partnered with Gvahim to take part in The Nest, offering their mentorship and community support to olim who were interested in starting their own business. Adding her skills to the team is Noemi Levy, the company’s Spanish Content and Social Media Manager, hailing from Spain. Levy loved the experience of meeting other olim from different countries around the world. She put what she learned in Gvahim to good use for the future task of interviewing at Wix, an arduous process that took 2 months! After experiencing it firsthand, she can understand why Wix could be the right job for a Gvahim alum. “Wix is considered one of the Israeli high tech unicorns, so I guess it’s on everyone’s wish list. They operate worldwide and need people that know not only a language, but a culture, with some professional background in that country’s markets.”
“There’s a lot of international people working at Wix and it’s a very oleh-friendly company,” Levy continues. “I believe that this, together with the fact that it’s a solid company, is a big reason for internationals to want to get on board.”
8. Amdocs – https://www.amdocs.com/
Is Amdocs Gvahim’s biggest success story? Yes, according to the Gvahim team who report that more than 20 Gvahim alumni have worked at Amdocs. They even go as far as to say that once the Amdocs strategy unit was comprised of Gvahim alumni. Finally, Gvahim’s most celebrated mentor is an Amdocs manager. While also based in Israel, Amdocs is a multinational company specializing in software and services for communications, media, and financial service providers and digital enterprises.
9. Cornerstone – https://www.cornerstoneondemand.com/
Cornerstone OnDemand help organizations recruit, train and manage their people. It is a global provider of cloud-based talent management software solutions with about 25 million users across 191 countries. Cornerstone has one very special person on staff at their company that once also had an important job at Gvahim. Merav Ben-Ari, now an Associate Talent Partner at Cornerstone, was once in charge of matching olim participating in Gvahim with mentors from companies and jobs similar to what those olim wanted to do. Other Gvahim alumni have also received jobs at Cornerstone.
10. Sweet Inn – https://www.sweetinn.com/
Ronen Serfati, a sales associate at Sweet Inn, a global hospitality company offering stylish holiday apartments for rent, was once involved in Gvahim’s The Nest accelerator program for small businesses. Sweet Inn is certainly a company that needs internationals working for her as they offer luxury apartments in spots that give you the cultural flavor of the city, throughout popular cities in Europe and Israel. In this case, it would help if a salesperson for this company was international as they could naturally sell the benefits and culture of their own country.